I’ve received a couple of scam e-mails in the past few weeks that I thought were actually pretty clever new twists on the usual offers of money from Nigeria and fake Microsoft issues. The first might look familiar to you if you’ve worked in a office with mail on an exchange server. It looks as if your work mailbox is full.

fakemailbox

Many of us have experienced a work e-mail account getting full and have received legitimate notices that we need to to clean it out.  If you didn’t look too closely, you might actually think this was from your IT department and just click the link.

You could then be opening up your company’s computers and your own devices to who-knows-what kind of malware. It might quickly read your contacts and send malicious software to all of them.  Again, always read well before you click that link.  E-mails like this could be especially problematic for those businesses still running XP. Scammers know XP machines are completely vulnerable and they are launching new attacks daily.

Another interesting twist on the old e-mail scam was this ridiculous e-mail purporting to be from a wealthy teen that lost her parents and not only wants to find a family but share the wealth left by her late parents. I guess this is designed to appeal to both greed and the desire to help orphans. Hey, it’s win/win.

fakemom

The interesting part was that at the end of the e-mail it offered the opportunity to unsubscribe.

fakeunsubcribe

Well, who wouldn’t want to unsubscribe from unwanted scam e-mails? However, clicking this link will most likely take you to a site stuffed with malware or activate malware on your computer.

So again, think before you click. And as long as we are talking about scams… Microsoft does not call your house. They can’t see that you are having problems with your computer. I’ve talked about this numerous times before, but I’ve spoken to three people this week who were on the receiving end of these phony calls.

If they call you, don’t even feel the need to be moderately polite. This isn’t some hardworking guy in a call center trying to earn a living selling security systems, vinyl siding or magazines. This is a criminal with nothing but criminal intent. Slam down the phone, blow a whistle or vent your frustrations by unloading on the crook on the other end of the line.

Be careful out there.

~ Cynthia